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In 2015, I toured the existing San Francisco Animal Care & Control Center (SFACC). SFACC is a taxpayer funded open door animal shelter that provides housing, care, and medical treatment to stray, lost, abandoned, and sick animals, regardless of species. It is the city’s only open door animal shelter. I distinctly remember this walk-through of the old ACC building, because it was in bad shape and obviously not intended for a long-term animal care shelter. The acoustics were non-existent between the kennels and the smell was very unpleasant. It felt like the animals were wedged into the building and there was little or no separation between people who were ...
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Enhancing the environment to engage social interactions By Jia Miao It’s common to acknowledge that disconnectedness between older adults and their social context easily happens when they move into the unfamiliar environment of a long-term care community. Residents struggle with challenges of establishing new connections and potentially reduced amount of meaningful social interactions. As a salient predictor of health and mental well-being, sufficient social engagement is a crucial component that supports the successful aging of older adults. Thus, optimizing living environments to empower social engagement is a meaningful topic to explore for the senior ...
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The AIA Committee on Climate Action and Design Excellence (CCADE) has been busy with initiatives both internal and external to the Institute.  CCADE is a  new board committee established this year  comprised of a variety of national subject matter experts working to better integrate the Institute’s climate action goals into all of the Institute’s committees and ongoing work.  Within AIA, this work will create an alignment to ensure that we are speaking with one voice regarding climate action and what constitutes design excellence.  Outwardly, CCADE is identifying potential partnerships with mission aligned organizations, that will help us develop meaningful shared content and leverage communication ...
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Ideas are surfacing and gaining credibility in political debate that will support the AIA’s ongoing advocacy work around climate action.   As of this writing, it is still unclear what kind of infrastructure legislation the 117 th  United States Congress will be able to produce. But whatever the 117 th  Congress can accomplish, it is important to point out that a number of ideas are surfacing and gaining credibility in political debate that will support the AIA’s ongoing advocacy work around climate action and the need to include buildings (both new and adapted) in any infrastructure package that moves through Congress.       The “whole of ...
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PARTNER CONTENT :  Sherwin-Williams   Professionals and manufacturers can work together to enhance the wellbeing of those who occupy built space.  The design and development of buildings continues to evolve past focusing only on appearance and function to also consider how a space can impact overall well-being.   Professionals and manufacturers can work together to achieve these goals with building practices and materials that help improve indoor air quality and enhance the well-being of the people who work, live, and play in a built space.     Professionals must understand both their client’s vision and the changes to third-party ...
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It is time for the medical professions and the design professions to collaborate to address the environmental issues impacting public health, and to create designs that eliminate detrimental impacts on public health.    Welcome to summer! After our months of pandemic-induced seclusion, it feels great to be able to get out of our homes and go outside. Unfortunately, in many places, the summer means increased heat, more severe storms and risk of either drought or flooding. It’s unsafe to go out, but unhealthy to stay in! What’s a community to do?  This is a question that increasingly comes up in discussions of public health.    We’ve learned that the ...
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AIA COTE Top Ten Toast   If you weren’t one of the 200+ who joined us on May 20, 2021 -- including many jurors and winners -- for the Top Ten Toast, you can see the video of the event here:   https://network.aia.org/viewdocument/2021-cote-top-ten-toast?CommunityKey=3b790506-aca5-4eff-aaf6-8a7b553dc0ef&tab=librarydocuments
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Raise Your Voice:  Buildings are Infrastructure   By Kira Gould   Late last month, AIA members got an email reminding them of an important opportunity to raise their voices. Mike Davis, FAIA, Chair, Government Advocacy Committee, and Lanny McIntosh, FAIA, Chair ArchiPAC Steering Committee, called on us all to step forward and take a few minutes to reach out. They wrote:    “You have probably heard about the ongoing negotiations on the infrastructure package between the White House and Congress. As talks co ntinue,  now is the time to reach out  to y our member of Congress and ensure that they include buildings in the infrastructure ...
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The AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) once again sets the bar for design excellence for architecture students with the August launch of the 2022 COTE Top Ten Students Competition . Entering its seventh year, the competition attracts hundreds of participants every year and only ten winners, this is widely regarded as the most prestigious student design award in architecture. Based on the AIA Framework for Design Excellence (born of the COTE Top Ten measures), the competition introduces college students to a breadth of sustainability issues, from climate to community, and to critical metrics used in the design process. The 2021 competition attracted ...
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AIA California competition focuses on decarbonization, equity, and resilience. COTE leader Mary Ann Lazarus, of Cameron MacAllister Group, a past COTE chair, will serve on the jury for the AIA California’s Architecture at Zero competition, which is focused on decarbonization, equity, and resilience in building design. The annual competition is open for entries from students and professionals Worldwide. This year, AIACA will partner with Self Help Enterprises in Visalia, CA, to develop a design challenge to create affordable housing for farmworkers in California’s Central Valley. Up to $25,000 in prize money is awarded by a jury of international experts. In ...
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AIA has published a new resource for permit streamlining advocates, especially state and local component members and staff, as a first step in planning for changes in their community.  View resource > Permit streamlining benefits everyone. Building owners and developers are more likely to move forward with their projects when unnecessary and unexpected delays are minimized. Architects can ensure the project they have designed gets built. Local communities realize significant economic development benefits by reducing costs while encouraging investment. Society and our planet thrive because of high-performance buildings and sustainably built communities. ...
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Navigating today’s new normal in practice How are firms navigating a return to the office—or changing their practices long-term to embrace virtual practice?    Letter from the editor By Karen Courtney, FSMPS, AIA     The month of May is one of new beginnings with spring growth emerging and warmer temperatures awakening us from a long winter. Much like the environment, the PM Digest is also reemerging after a year’s hiatus due to COVID-19. The last published issue was in March 2020 right before “normal” life halted, and we all learned to deal with the pandemic both personally and professionally. Now with vaccines available, it is time to consider ...
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Editors note By John J. Clark, AIA, NCARB Own your story Over the past year, I made a focused effort to rediscover my original passion for architecture, design, and problem solving. The stress put on our country and communities demonstrated the need for action, and the pandemic lockdowns early in the year provided the time and opportunity. In this journey, the best piece of advice I received was to channel my story. Instead of continuing to make excuses for my inaction or continuing to ask “how can I help,” reflecting on my background brought the clarity needed to set new goals for my career and impact through design. I had considered a career for social ...
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Vice-chair’s message By Abigail Brown, AIA  Disrupt for enduring change Disruption. The very founding of the Young Architects Forum was based around change and interruption of our profession. It’s most often in the context of practice models, project delivery, emerging technologies to name but a few. Occasionally, a disruption comes along that demands the attention of all of us. Rarely does disruption occur as the sum of the factors we are witnessing today. A global pandemic, the reckoning with inequality, and catastrophic events brought about by climate change, have coalesced to make this year a call to action into every corner of our society. As I am ...
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By Ann Casso, Hon. AIA This article is excerpted from a series, the AIA Trust Firm Management Strategies Series, published October 2020 to theAIATrust.com . “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence—it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” —Peter Drucker    The current pandemic and resulting economic contraction are reminiscent of the 2008 recession even if for entirely different reasons. While many maintain that the economy is strong because the stock market is strong, many small businesses are either already in tatters or staring down a bleak financial future. Interviews were conducted with six AIA member firm owners ...
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A brighter future  By Jonathon Jackson NOMA Detroit leads by example through Project Pipeline DETROIT. AKA Motown, Detroit Rock City, Hockey Town, The Motor City. Whatever you call it, Detroit has a rich history and a bright future. It’s where Motown was born, where the first Model T was produced, where Martin Luther King Jr. marched for equality, and where the National Organization of Minority Architects began nearly 50 years ago. NOMA has come a long way since its inception in 1971. But as in many other cities, the mistreatment of underserved communities has led to a severe wealth gap and a lack of diversity in the world of business, including our ...
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I-NOMA president’s perspective   By Smitha C. Vasan, Assoc. AIA, NOMA I am about to come to the close of my term as President of the Illinois chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (I-NOMA), and it’s been incredible. The past 18 months have felt more like 10 years of meeting people, sharing experiences, and expanding my horizons. The most memorable experiences I’ve had are rooted in the stories I have been told and in the one-on-one interactions I’ve had. In creating a mission statement focused on community and legacy, the intention was to highlight and elevate the incredible depth we have with so many long-standing members local ...
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Pipelines are relationships: A case for committed relationship building By Beresford Pratt, AIA, NOMA Vasquez began reflecting on the impact that educating students had on her: “Coming from a small-town community, I have seen the effects of limited education opportunities, and I now see the genuine excitement when new ideas and material are presented by real-world practitioners. The students are always engaged and full of questions. I love seeing the students’ creativity shine, and it is a constant reminder that we are accomplishing something worthwhile for the next generation.” McAllister says, “At the end of the day, these efforts boil down to a group ...
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Designing space — for growth  By Monica Blasko, AIA Advocating for change by first understanding where we stand today  A global pandemic. Work-from-home challenges. Self-isolation. Financial uncertainty. Mental health struggles. A looming presidential election. And now another (filmed) instance of police violence against a Black American. As one of our Women+ in Design Pittsburgh community members came to realize, “My response of ‘I don’t have time for this’ comes from a place of privilege.” Grappling In the wake of George Floyd’s killing by police and the resounding demands for racial justice, the women of W+iD PGH were rattled like so many others ...
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AIA Honolulu’s commitment to racial justice By Aki Yoshida, AIA, LEED AP  Throughout Hawaii’s stay-at-home order in March and April, our inboxes were flooded with actions taken by companies and organizations during this global pandemic. Shortly after the police killing of George Floyd, the emails focused on the national response to the Black Lives Matter movement, including AIA National’s message making its role and responsibility clear in dismantling systemic racism. I noticed that not many local Hawaii businesses or organizations had taken the time to publish a message on their stance or address the conversation at all. Hawaii is typically considered ...
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